All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) is a body of blind persons working for and with the blind community to open its South Indian headquarters at Hyderabad. AICB, the 42 years old body is made up of various state-level associations/organizations, starting from the grass-roots level. It has 24 affiliates across the country.
A small new office is a rented office in Babukhan Estate, Basheerbagh. It will be formally inaugurated on 19th March Saturday.
Thanneer Sri Ranga Rao, Chairman, Electricity Regulatory Commission; Shri Thakellapally Ravindar Rao, MLC will grace the inaugural function
On the day of the inauguration, we would like to give a pension to a few visually challenged. This centre will teach computers to the visually challenged. It will help them in filling some farms, applications etc. We will play the role of advocacy. We help visually challenged to fight injustice. We help them file cases. When a visually challenged in Pondicherry was removed from his job without a valid reason, we fought the case on his behalf and got him reinstated in his job. We will also have an exhibition of braille appliances such as holding sticks, basic writing instruments, calculators, braille displays, notetakers, smart display devices and others. These will be sold at subsidised prices. This will be the first office in South India.
So far we have done a lot of work in the north. With this, we will start our work in the south as well informed Mr. J. L. Kaul, Secretary General, AICB.
The idea behind opening this new office is to reach out to visually challenged who can approach this office for any support, help, guidance be it personal, professional informed "Ponugoti Chokka Rao", Secretary AICB.
Though there are plenty of braille textbooks, not many leisure reading books in braille in Telugu. We will like to take up a project to bring out more leisure reading books such as storybooks, comics etc in braille in Telugu so that we can cultivate more reading habits, Mr J.L. Kaul said. For this we need funds. We will also raise funds for the same, J. L. Kaul added
Blind people are Techy Savvy. They may be blind, but, they don’t lag behind in adapting to new technologies such as Email, Smartphones, GPS Devices. They use gadgets and gizmos with ease on par with the sighted. Blind must be trained in adopting modern technology and technological devices, gadgets and gizmos. This will increase their efficiency. By using this they will access the latest information. They will have access to material on the net. Otherwise, they lag behind. Take, for instance, some visually challenged read e-newspapers with ease. They keep abreast with current affairs and knowledge related to their life and job said J.L. Kaul and Ponugoti Chokka Rao. The new centre at Babukhan Estate in Basheerbagh in Hyderabad will help more blind to embrace technology. Eric Alexander a mountaineer being blind climbed Mount Everest. If you think you can do. Adapting to technology, being blind and becoming tech-savvy is a simple thing but can make a huge difference in the lives of the blind they said. More and more must adopt technology and must become tech-savvy. By doing so they will be helping themselves a lot, they added.
Though there are 250 plus blind organisations, very few work for the empowerment of the visually challenged. AICB is the most talked about and respected organisation. We have travelled a long distance, from a small rented office to our own premises in Delhi, housing a variety of services, from just one part-time employee to the present number of over 66 staff members, from a meagre fund of just a few hundred rupees to the present budget of few crores and from hardly any activity to over 20 projects and services now informed J.L. Kaul.
AICB has been adjudged the Best NGO in the disability sector by the Government of India and presented the corresponding National Award by the President of India. The Confederation’s Braille printing press was adjudged the best in the country and was awarded a Citation and Cash Award of Rs. One lakh in the years 2009 and 2012, J.L. Kaul explained. He will be in Hyderabad this Saturday for the inauguration of the AICB South India Headquarters.
AICB has a clear mandate. It seeks to reach out into areas hitherto untraversed or neglected. Thus, visually impaired children, women and the elderly are our primary target groups. Opening up new vistas of opportunities for the neglected segments of our blind population residing in rural areas is our major concern. On the other hand, facilitating access to information and harnessing appropriate technologies for improving the quality of life of our blind friends is a matter of faith with us.
The statistics reveal that as per the lost census, there is 50 lakh visually challenged in India. But, this number in reality is far more than what was stated. It will be well over 3 o 4 times more, he said.